Mac Jones talks evolving Patriots offense, leadership role

New England quarterback Mac Jones finds himself at the center of a new-look Patriots offense after the departure of longtime offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.

The 23-year-old Jones, who is entering his second year in the NFL, discussed how the Patriot offense — which will likely have assistants Joe Judge and Matt Patricia at the helm this season — has evolved and changed this offseason through OTAs and minicamp.

“The idea for every offense is to have an identity and to be able to play fast and play quicker,” Jones said. “And to put stress on the defense is important for any offense.

“We want to be able to do that consistently, and we want to be able to do whatever we want to do at any given time, whether that’s a run, play action or pass, short, medium or long. We’re trying to have a little bit of variety and just grow together.”

Jones — who has shown big improvements in his deep passing game during the Patriots’ offseason practices, pushing the ball downfield with confidence and showing his potential for a more explosive play style — didn’t shy away when asked whether he felt like he had command over this new offense.

“Yeah, I think that’s the whole point of the quarterback, right? It’s to lead the guys around you, [to] get them the ball.”

Jones, the fifth QB taken in the 2021 NFL Draft, flipped the script and outperformed the four signal-callers selected before him — Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Justin Fields and Trey Lance — last season.

He finished the 2021-22 campaign having completed 67.6% of his passes for 3,801 passing yards — the 13th-most in the league — for 22 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. What’s more, he led the Patriots to their first postseason appearance in the post-Tom Brady era.

The Patriots finished second in the AFC East last season (10-7) behind a defense that allowed the fourth-fewest total yards per game (310.8) behind the Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers and San Francisco 49ers.

On the other side, New England had the 15th most offensive yards per game (353.4) en route to losing in the wild-card round for the second time in three years.

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